Upon Further Review 2012: Defense vs Northwestern Comment Count

Brian November 14th, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Formation notes: We've already talked about Michigan's 3-3-5 at the end of the game, which was really blue for some reason:


filmed in post-apocalyptic-Denzel-Washington-vehicle-o-vision

The rest of it was as per usual. Michigan goes with an even front against spread packages and flares the LBs out to deal. This results in things like this…


…and is a declaration of immense faith in the DTs. Here's Ryan over the slot again:


Michigan used some super wide splits once, when they were sick of getting edged by the option:


This was a FB dive that looked dangerous before Pipkins spatted the ballcarrier for two yards.

Finally, here's something. What? I'm not sure. THANKS DIRECTOR GUY


I swear these guys who come in and think they're Football Tarantino.

Substitution notes: Secondary as it always is. The front seven saw the same rotation they have in the last couple games, with CGordon/Bolden/Ross backing up Ryan/Demens/Morgan at LB and Heitzman/Black/Pipkins/Clark backing up Roh/Campbell/Washington/Beyer. Heitzman's increased PT continued; Bolden got relatively few snaps. Ross got more, including the last drive, but maybe not as many as I expected he did going in.

[AFTER THE JUMP: getting gashed, responding, Kovacs in your grill]

Prow prow.

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O22 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-3 under slide Run N/A Speed option Ryan 0
Roh(+0.5) is lined up inside the tackle and but does flow down the LOS, preventing a sealing block that might open up a tough lane for the LBs to cover. Demens(+0.5) is unaccounted for and shoots the gap to force a pitch. Ryan(+1) keeps his feet on a cutblock and beats the WR outside; Gordon(+0.5) is the edge contain and flows up hard enough to make contact in the backfield and get in an okay tackle(+1).
O22 2 10 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 even Run N/A Broken play Floyd -2
Looks like it's supposed to be an inside zone; the RB kind of runs directly at Colter instead of, like, next to him, so no handoff. Colter runs around wildly, with Floyd(+0.5, tackling +1) making a nice open field tackle in the backfield, albeit an easy one outside the context of intent.
O20 3 12 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 nickel Pass 3 Corner Gordon 19
Roh(+0.5, pressure push) does eventually beat the tackle around the corner and is about to impact Colter as he throws, which is okay for a three man rush. (Ryan is hanging out as a spy.) Colter chucks a corner route that's decently covered but open enough(cover -1) for there to be a window; WR makes a spectacular leaping stab catch. I guess it's Gordon not getting over fast enough maybe? I usually don't hand out individual minuses for zone coverage unless it's a big bust because I can't see, and this is kind of like ain't even mad.
O39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Inside zone Clark -1
Michigan stunts; Campbell(+1) shoves a guard out as Clark(+1) dives inside into the gap left as the C releases into Demens. He brings down the shifty Mark (tackling +1) in the backfield. RPS +1.
O38 2 11 Shotgun trips TE 4-3 even slide Pass 4 Scramble Ryan 18
Kovacs walks down (and I'm like who the hell is #11). First couple reads are closed off (cover +2) as pressure(-1) is late; Heitzman(+0.5) does split two OL to get there. Colter's already bugging out. As soon as he breaks the pocket he's running flat out; Ryan(-2, tackling -2) gets edged without even touching Colter; had Morgan and Washington to the inside.
M44 1 10 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-4 over Run N/A Lead option Ryan 21
Not sure if this is the scheme or a freshman screwing up to start, but Heitzman(-1) gets flanked when the T releases outside and goes at Colter, eliminating himself. Ryan and Bolden are now taking on blockers while Trumpy has two lead guys. Those guys go inside Ryan and the slot receiver; Trumpy flanks Ryan(-2) again. Held, no call, no mercy here. This is not Mark. Bolden is charging out from the interior but has no chance. Gordon is buried by two guys, no chance. Taylor(-1) does a crappy job on the edge, outside the numbers and unable to even get a diving tackle attempt in. He's finally pursued out by Kovacs and Floyd. Morgan(-0.5) had no way to be relevant but still did poorly as he held up checking for gaps on a run obviously going outside.
M23 1 10 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-4 even Run N/A FB dive Black 2
Ryan lifted for CGordon. Coaches probably displeased. Pipkins(+0.5) gets into two guys in the backfield and closes off space well. Black(+2) pops the center back, controls him, two gaps him, and makes a tackle on the back as he reaches the LOS. I guess that's plus two but this seemed easier than it should have been.
M21 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 even split Run N/A Counter Pipkins 12
Show empty, Mark motions to backfield. I am not entirely sure but I think Pipkins(-2) blew an assignment. Black steps left, Bolden right. Pipkins also goes right, which means the two DTs end up right next to each other and the G releases into Bolden. Black(-1) gets blown out, Pipkins ends up on his knees. Bolden has essentially no chance in this much space and he's the only linebacker, so big gain. RPS -1. Five guys in the box against six.
M9 1 G Shotgun 2-back trips 4-3 even slide Run N/A Inverted veer give Bolden 5
Covered slot, first of what I'm told will be many idiot camera angles. Michigan is slid away from the strength so Roh gets blocked and there is no edge guy, handoff. Now three WRs plus lead blocker as Michigan misaligned against this unbalanced formation. Blockers for everyone as a result. Bolden(-1) gets creased, CGordon(+1) gets off his block and tackles(+1) from behind as Mark passes. RPS -1.
M4 2 G Shotgun trips TE 4-4 even? Run N/A Inside zone Black 4
Michigan slanting towards this; Black(-1) does not get his helmet across his guy and gets creased as Washington(-1) gets escorted way upfield. Kovacs fills but can't cut down enough space.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Run N/A Inside zone Washington 1
Playside tackle flares out to cut off Demens, who is slid over the slot. Roh holds up outside, so give. M stunts; Campbell(+0.5) occupies two outside guys as Clark dives inside to get blocked by the center releasing. Washington(+1) dominates the backside G, two gapping. He forces the guy backside, hops backside, forces the guy frontside, where Ross(+0.5) is there unblocked because of the stunt to finish.
O27 2 9 Shotgun empty 4-3 even Pass N/A Scramble Floyd 3
A lot of confusion as Ryan is moving around at the snap. Supposed to be quick stuff as line goes for cut blocks. Colter doesn't like either playside slant; Floyd and Ross +0.5 each, cover +1. He takes off. Clark(+0.5) gets up off the cut and tackles as Colter exits the pocket.
O30 3 6 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Throwaway Ryan Inc
Clark backs out as Ross blitzes and Kovacs covers his short zone, but it's Ryan(+2) dominating the RT that gets there(pressure +2). Colter manages to escape with nimble feet. Coverage(+1) is good on the roll and then Black(+0.5) and Roh(+0.5) pursue to get him OOB. Colter chucks a ball just before he steps out.
Drive Notes: Punt, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O3 1 10 Goal line 4-4 under Run N/A Inside zone Washington 2
Washington(+1) takes a triple(!) team and no one can get out on Demens(+0.5) who slides to the hole and tackles. Roh(+0.5) also did well to knock his opponent back and help. Beyer(+0.5) and Campbell(+0.5) also closed down any backside gaps.
O5 2 8 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 even slide Pass 5 PA scramble N/A 9
RB motions out to make this pistol 2TE. It's PA. Ryan comes down off the slot. Colter has time, doesn't like the throw (cover +1) and starts moving around. It's chaos now; Beyer runs up to contain and Morgan is moving out behind that with an OL chasing him; Colter cuts behind all of that; it's really Floyd who should be able to read this and cut back but that's hard too. I mostly just chalk this up to one of those things, but the chaos is pressure -2. Also Floyd -0.5.
O14 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-3 even slide Run N/A Speed option Floyd 30
They run at the boundary with the LBs slid to the other side, so this is two OL versus Morgan and Kovacs plus Beyer unblocked. Beyer(-0.5) goes for the QB and make it easy; ideally he baits and flows and gets some movement. Kovacs has to contain and is in a bad situation. He does. Morgan(-2) is cut, falling. Floyd(-2, tackling -2) fills, gets slashed behind by Mark. Floyd barely gets a hand on the guy, which makes a difference since pursuit would have had him for 15 instead of 30 if Floyd delays the guy at all. RPS -1. Tough for M, but easy to see how this could have been a modest gain. Gordon(+1) does not make the same mistake Floyd did, in the same space.
O44 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-3 under Run N/A Zone read keeper Gordon 1
M brings CGordon down off the slot, who's really an H-back sort so not a huge vertical threat. He blitzes, zone read, Colter keep as CGordon is coming hard. Gordon(+1) is also coming off the edge; CGordon(+0.5) halts and redirects outside; those guys combine to tackle. RPS +1.
O45 2 9 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 under Run N/A FB dive Morgan 4
Triple option action going directly at the backside unblocked DE. Clark has to stay outside, does, handoff. Black(+0.5) gets a hand on as he passes, which starts the tackle. Morgan(+0.5) attacks the free releasing guard pretty well and comes under him to finish it with Bolden adding a little bit at the end.
O49 3 5 Shotgun trips 5-1 nickel Pass 4 Sack Black -13
M shows man as Floyd follows a WR moving inside. Colter looks at the last guy on the right, who Gordon(+1, cover +1) is on top of. He decides not to throw. NW line cut block so now it's panic time. Colter goes to other side of the field and thinks he has an out, tries to throw it, a cut Black(+1) leaps at Colter and rakes the ball out (pressure +1), M recovers. FWIW, Floyd may have had a play on this if thrown.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 7-7, 11 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-3 even slide Run N/A Speed option Beyer 4
Beyer(-0.5) unblocked and forces a pitch. Would like him to split the QB and RB a bit better here, as another step outside still means pitch and lets him get out faster. TE goes right for Kovacs, Kovacs does what he can to fend him off but is reduced to containing. Ross(+1) gets an immediate release from the tackle and leaps over a cut without getting delayed a whit. Beyer flows out and makes contact at about two yards downfield but everyone can fall forward. RPS push but I kind of want to minus this.
O29 2 6 Shotgun empty 4-3 under Pass 4 Scramble Roh 8
Mark motions out for an empty look. Ryan(+1, pressure +1) beats the tackle around the edge and has a shot at a sack; can't make it. Roh(-1) tried to go inside of his guy, got a good rush, and vacated his lane, so it's scramble time.
O37 1 10 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 under Run N/A Lead option Ross 2
Beyer unblocked, optioned off. Kovacs(-1) gets slashed to the ground. Gordon(-1) ditto. Ross(+2) reads immediately, runs past attempt to block him and makes a tackle(+1) on Venric Mark as he tries to cut up in front of a good contain from Floyd(+0.5). Fortunate here; if Ross is a step slow this is a big play.
O39 2 8 Pistol FB Offset twins Base 3-4 Run N/A Lead option Ryan 1
Okay, so this is what I am saying about the play two plays before. Ryan(+2) is on the edge here and flares out. He convinces Colter to cut up, then comes down to tackle(+1) by himself. This was still dangerous as Heitzman(-1) got reached and two OL end up coming around to block various guys. That means Demens and Morgan are in tough in the event Ryan doesn't do the cape act.
O40 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 nickel Pass 5 Scramble Demens 1
Demens lined up as a two point DT, backs out as M sends a blitz behind it. A little too predictable and its' picked up but Colter sees the big lane opened up and decides to go; Black(+0.5) and Roh(+0.5) release to close down the angle, leaving a spying Demens(+1, tackling +1) to finish the play after a minimal gain. RPS +1. Pressure push, I guess?
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-7, 3 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O44 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 nickel Pass 5 Out Taylor 7
Blitz picked up(pressure -1); Taylor(+1, cover +1) jumps a little out route and would have a play on it if it wasn't low and away; WR makes the tough digout.
M49 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass N/A Scramble Demens 5
Coverage is good downfield(+1) and then Siemian decides to bail as Beyer(+0.5) threatens to bull directly back into him. There's a hole in the line but Demens(-1) should be there to tackle for minimal gain; unfortunately both he and Morgan chased the back leaking out of the backfield.
M44 1 10 Shotgun empty 5-1 nickel Pass 3 Out Avery 4
Avery(+1, cover +1) is right on top of a five yard out that is thrown upfield, making it a three yard out, and tackles immediately inbounds.
M40 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 5 Fly Floyd Inc
Floyd rolls up in press coverage and gets beat a little bit, but not too badly. He's about a step behind and near the sidelines; this throw has to be perfect. It is... almost. It is maybe six inches long and the WR can't bring it in. Can't really fault the coverage if this is complete; sometimes the throw just beats you.
M40 3 6 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Dig Demens? 21
Well... Demens does run out on a circle route to vacate this zone. But if he does not do that, the circle route is wide open. Pick your poison here as Taylor went with what looked like a vertical route from the slot and ended up yards from the guy on the dig. This is what random cover -2 is for. Cover -2. Nice pocket, pressure –2, RPS –1.
M19 1 10 Shotgun trips 5-1 nickel Pass 5 Back shoulder fade Taylor 19
Well okay if you're going to do that I guess you do deserve six points. Morgan(+1, pressure +1) had hopped past the attempted RB pickup and was going to blast this. Taylor(+1, cover +1) in great position, actually, but this is literally unstoppable.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-14, EOH. Ain't even mad.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Inverted veer keeper Morgan 7
M stunts the end to the playside; Campbell(+1) blasts the playside T back and forces the pulling G inside of him. Demens(-1) does not flow hard to the playside and is irrelevant; Morgan(-1) gets flanked; Kovacs(-1) gets blasted by the H-back guy on the slot and no one can do anything about Colter until Campbell does.
O32 2 3 Shotgun trips TE 4-3 over Run N/A Speed option Morgan 12
To the short side; Colter keeps as Beyer pops up outside on the pitch guy. Colter slams it up hard behind and runs past Washington, who's flowing down the line free and can't get there. Is this his fault? I think a little since he's a bit upfield instead of downfield but not really. Morgan(-1) overpursues and gets cut back on and Demens(-1) just kind of ran away from contact as he tried to flow down the line; Roh(-1) got cut and was not there to maybe tackle right after the first down.
O44 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-3 even slide Run N/A Speed option Kovacs -2
Tough to run into the boundary like this; Beyer(+0.5) does a better job of stringing out the pitch, delaying it, and will cut this down if Kovacs(+2, tackling +1) does not after chucking away a tight end.
O42 2 12 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 under Pass 4 PA corner Kovacs Inc
Kovacs(+2, cover +2) in the WR's chest and gets the PBU; absolutely no chance for this to be completed, no flag. No pressure(-2).
O42 3 12 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 5 Improv Morgan 13
Kovacs sent along with Ryan; confusion gets Kovacs in free. Colter steps past him. Ryan is now there; Colter steps back. Morgan(-2, cover -2) charges up as the RB releases, so when Colter breaks the pocket he's got a wide open receiver. RPS +1, pressure +1, Kovacs(+0.5), Ryan(+0.5); this should have blown the play up anyway but for the coverage bust.
M45 1 10 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 under Run N/A FB dive Washington 5
Washington(-1) seems to get out of his gap. Black(+0.5) pushes his guard into the backfield and makes the RB slow up, but Washington hopped right outside and let the C release direct into Demens; he's got two guys on him but Heitzman is also out there. Floyd comes down to tackle with help from the Black-caused delay.
M40 2 5 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 over Pass N/A Triple option pitch CGordon 4
CGordon in for Ryan. This isn't really his fault as he is sent on a blitz. He holds up and the pitch happens and he flows out on it. Gordon(+1) gets playside of the WR blocking him and is flagrantly held, no call, edge; Floyd(+0.5) beats his guy and then gets some bad luck, getting cut to the ground by a falling Gordon as he tries to tackle(-1) and giving up the edge. Refs -2.
M36 3 1 Goal line 4-4 under Run N/A Inside zone Morgan 2
Campbell slants under a guard, driving him out of the hole but also opening up a crease; Heitzman didn't go with him behind that play. Morgan(+1) hits the gap hard but Heitzman not going means there's a G releasing into him; he comes around to tackle; the shove means he can't get a stick and can only tackle from behind. No minuses; this was actually pretty close to a stick. Maybe Heitzman but can't be sure.
M34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Speed option Floyd 11
NW motions a WR to the field, and M's response is to back off Kovacs and slide Roh further inside? I don't get it. Speed option at the strong side with a line shifted away from it. Roh gets flanked because obviously and Bolden gets cut. CGordon is the optioned guy and sucks in on an upfield move by Colter. Floyd(-1) and Gordon(-1) dominated by the WRs blocking them and can do nothing. Morgan just gets there to prevent a huge play. RPS -2.
M23 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Wheel CGordon 23
CGordon(-3, cover -3) just blows it. This is an H-back, too, not a WR. Another clean pocket(pressure -1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-21, 11 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O30 1 10 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 under Pass 4 PA FB flat Demens 14
Demens(-1, cover -1) does suck up on the PA but I don't' really blame him. This is more RPS -1 as man cover against this is tough.
O44 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Zone stretch? Clark 2
Okay so Mark takes a stretch handoff to the boundary and the line blocks inside zoneish. Mark should definitely hit it up inside the end; Clark(+1) appears to be effectively two gapping the end and convinces him to head outside where Floyd(+0.5) comes off a block to bang him OOB. Ross(+0.5) also got on his horse and was out there.
O46 2 8 Shotgun trips TE 4-3 over Pass 5 Bubble screen Gordon 9
Bad throw that forces a great catch out of the WR and delays him; still a good gain as Gordon(-1) comes inside on a very token handoff fake and gets sealed inside. Taylor(-1) gets beat up by the outside WR as well.
M45 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Lead option Demens 3
Slot LB Ryan is going for the pitch, so Colter cuts it up. Demens(+0.5) flowed and avoided a cut, forcing it back inside; Heitzman(+0.5) flowed down the line and Morgan(+0.5) shot between two releasing OL. The three tackle.
M42 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A TGDCD Morgan 6
No pull, pure TGDCD. Campbell(+0.5) darts inside a lineman and forces Mark out into one gap that an unblocked Morgan(-1, tackling -2) is filling. He recognizes, shoots up... pauses. Starts moving again, this time too slow to get there, and waves, without making contact, as Mark hits the second level. I guess he does force it back to Demens and Ryan at least so I'll take back a second minus that is probably just frustration with his play so far.
M36 3 1 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 under Run N/A Lead option N/A 4
Ryan shoots right at the QB, pitch, FB can run by everything on the first level without blocking anyone and it still doesn't matter. Demens does as well as he can, Floyd(+1) forces it inside well inside the numbers in the backfield and comes off to tackle with Demens, still easy first down. RPS -1.
M32 1 10 Pistol 2TE twins 4-3 over Pass 4 PA Rollout hitch   Inc
Wide open, no pressure (cover -2, pressure -2), turfed. RPS -1.
M32 2 10 Pistol FB offset 3-wide 4-3 spread Run N/A FB dive Pipkins 2
M responding to the gashing by flaring the line wide. NW tries to hit it up the middle. Pipkins(+2, tackling +1) is pushing outside, give is made, redirects inside faster than I thought a dude that big could move.
M30 3 8 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 nickel Run N/A Speed option Morgan 20
Demens 2-point DT again. M blitzes, sending playside S Kovacs, who is hit by the inside WR and removed. Clark flies up at the QB and allows it outside. Morgan(-1) is in tough but goes upfield of his blocker and is now not able to make any sort of tackle attempt. Any slowing of the RB likely gets Ryan(+0.5) a tackle, as it is he just barely misses grabbing the shoulder pads spectacularly. RPS -2.
M10 1 G Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Pass 4 Out Ross Inc
Guy is open at the five(Ross -1, cover -1, pressure -1) and just missed.
M10 2 G Shotgun 2-back trips 4-3 even slide Run N/A Inverted veer give Ryan 2
Heitzman stays tight, so give. Ryan(+1) bides his time, then shoots inside of the WR trying to block him and forces Mark to bounce as he dives at his feet. Gordon(+0.5) and Taylor(+0.5) beat blockers to the outside and contain to finish the play.
M8 3 G Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Sack Beyer -10
Initial coverage(+1) good; Beyer(+2) drives his man back into Colter and when Colter tries to bug out Beyer gets a grab on him to slow him down, at which point Roh(+1, pressure +1) can come around the edge to finish the play.
Drive Notes: FG(34), 24-14, 4 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O21 1 10 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 over Run N/A Inside zone Campbell 3
Washington(+0.5) and Campbell(+1) flow down the line to constrict holes. Would like Clark to flow down a little better but not too bad; there is a crease behind Campbell; Campbell pops up in it to initiate a tackle. Morgan took on a releasing OL okay,
O24 2 7 Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Run N/A Inside zone Washington 2
Washington(+2) drives the playside G well into the backfield, forcing Mark backside. Campbell(+1) comes through a double as one of the NW guys releases and swallows Mark. Clark now knows how to deal with the read option BTW.
O26 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Dig Avery 12
Same route combo they converted on earlier with Demens going out on the circle route and the nickel corner Avery(-1, cover -2) unable to keep up with the dig route as Demens vacates. Pressure(+1) was getting there if this is covered, and a lot of it, RPS –1.
O38 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Inside zone Morgan 12
Morgan(-2) is one on one with a releasing G and lets the guy outside of him. Any contain at all means Campbell(+0.5) has a tackle attempt he's likely to make and then maybe some contain helps. Nope. Floyd(-0.5, tackling push since this was tough and Kovacs does well) can't make a diving ankle tackle; Kovacs(+0.5) cleans up.
50 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-3 even slide Pass N/A Rollout scramble CGordon 9 (Pen -5)
PA fake is broken, so no sale there. Coverage(+2) is good downfield; looks like everyone's taken care of, and now a stunt on the backside is getting a couple guys through so Colter takes off. He should be nailed for nothing; CGordon(-1) loses leverage and Bolden(-1) does a crappy job of forming up, so Colter escapes. Michigan gets out of it thanks to an illegal block in the back penalty that arises when Pipkins shoves Morgan to the ground. Yup. Refs +3.
O45 1 15 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Wheel Kovacs Inc
Kovacs(+2, cover +2) again in the chest of the WR, no chance for a completion. Attempted stunt did not work; very clean pocket (pressure -2)
O45 2 15 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Speed option Roh 6
Ryan sent off the corner so he takes a blocker and cuts off the pitch. I think Roh(-0.5) needs be more aware of this and not get so far outside since he should have the QB; he does salvage something by being able to turn around and tackle(+1) once Demens(+0.5) forces Colter to bounce outside. RPS +1; this should have been held down better.
M49 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 5 Dumpoff Kovacs Inc
Kovacs(+1, pressure +2, RPS +1) is sent on a five man blitz at Colter's backside, which he does not see. He gets in free and nails Colter in the back, forcing an incompletion. He was looking for the open dumpoff to the RB, which probably picks up the first down. Cover -1.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-24, 13 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O34 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Run N/A IV zone keeper Morgan 3
Inverted veer with no pull; line just zone blocks away. They ride Roh out of the play. Demens(+0.5) contains, Morgan(+0.5) flows down unimpeded and they contain Colter. Morgan could get in a better tackle here.
O37 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Hitch Ryan 5
Pick route gets Ryan off the TE leaking out of the backfield and would probably pick up the first but the guy falls over. Push.
O42 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Scramble Campbell 2
Coverage(+2) good for first read and then Campbell(+1, pressure +1) has bulled a guard back into Colter. He threatens to move up in the pocket and Campbell pops into the hole, forcing him outside. Morgan(+0.5) comes up to contain with Taylor, getting Colter down right at the sticks. Blah.
O44 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 WR screen Floyd 1
Not sure how this is supposed to work, man. Gordon(+0.5) comes up hard, ditching a blocker, unblocked Floyd(+0.5) is there at the LOS, tackle, no gain. RPS +1.
O45 2 9 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Scramble Ross 15
First reads covered and then pocket collapses. Black(+0.5) is the guy who comes up and nearly takes out Colter's ankles. Pipkins(-1) spins inside fruitlessly and provides a lane. This should be hacked down for 5 or so but Ross(-2, tackling -2) overruns it big time and turns it into a big gain. Kovacs(+1) rescues it at the end. Colter is hurt, Siemian comes in.
M40 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Zone stretch? Ross 3 (Pen -10)
Again the stretch handoff and no stretch blocking. M stunts, getting Clark to pop a guy who is supposed to release. Ross(+0.5, tackling +1) flows free and tackles as Clark(+0.5) pops the guy who is supposed to get to him and Pipkins(+0.5) surges into the backfield to prevent any funny stuff. RPS +1. Pipkins drew a holding call that is way less of a holding call than about six things on the edge today. Refs +1.
50 1 20 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Dig Ross? 20
This is mostly Siemian hitting an NFL window between Ross and Demens but I think Ross could have got some more depth and gotten a hand on this. But yeah for whatever reason Siemian is dropping DO+ on our ass. Push.
M30 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Inside zone Demens 0
Roh(+1) squeezes down on the TE and keeps his feet on a cut block. A stunt didn't work so great and Washington(-0.5) got blown back some by a double; Mark has a few yards if he just blasts it up. He doesn't. Demens(+1, tackling +1) scrapes to the backside and tackles; CGordon(+0.5) helps out.
M30 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Throwaway CGordon Inc + 15 Pen
Coverage(+1) good on short stuff and then CGordon(+1, pressure +1) plows a tackle back into Siemian. He manages to spin out and chuck it away. Beyer(-2) gets a somewhat weak but legit and stupid roughing the passer call.
M15 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-3 even slide Pass 4 Post Demens 15
They motion Mark out and this causes Floyd and Kovacs to flip; Kovacs does not get to full depth before the snap. Demens is now trying to carry a WR to the deep post like he did against ND's TE; this one doesn't work out. Kovacs could not get over because of poor presnap positioning. Kovacs –1, Cover –1, RPS -2.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 31-28, 4 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
50 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Inside zone Ross 3
Colter back. NW doubles Campbell(+0.5); he gives a little ground and then fights playside of the interior blocker. Washington is pursuing from the inside so Trumpy has to head outside; Ross(+1) bangs the T releasing off Campbell and ankle-tackles at the LOS.
M47 2 7 Shotgun 2-back 4-3 even Run N/A Fake option keeper Demens 2
The Scheelhaase (t_t) play where the read option is a fake and folds into a QB iso. Campbell(+0.5) holds up a double okay. Washington(-1) flies upfield and is eliminated. Demens(+1) plugs a lead blocker at the LOS and Colter folds inside instead of testing the bounce, which is probably lucky for M.
M45 3 5 Shotgun trips 5-1 nickel Run N/A Speed option Roh 4
Variant. They block down with the playside T and pull a G around. M sends everyone. Demens is the contain and forces the keep; he can't tackle Colter as he shoots upfield but that's asking a lot. Roh(+1) beat that downblock and comes around the T to force Colter back inside, where Black(+0.5) has flowed down to tackle. This looked so promising because Ryan shot a backside gap on his blitz BTW.
M41 4 1 Pistol twins twin TE 4-4 over Run N/A QB inside zone Ross 1
Mark motions out. Just Colter in the backfield. They just run straight ahead, with a double getting some motion from Washington(+0.5); Ross(+1) ends up one on one with Colter in a very small gap and blasts him. The replay in the stadium was a lot better than the one on TV and seemed to show he never got the ball to the spot, but given what they show on TV there's no way you can overturn this.
M40 1 10 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Campbell 1
Washington(+1) and Campbell(+1) win single blocks and force a cutback from Mark; Beyer(+1) squeezes down to cut that off too.
M39 2 9 Shotgun 2-back 4-3 under Run N/A Zone read keeper Gordon 0
M blitzing off the slot with both Ryan and Gordon. Ryan goes for the back, Colter pulls, Gordon(+1) does a nice job to force it inside and get a tackle attempt in; Demens(+0.5) scrapes over to finish the tackle. RPS not awarded in situations like this FWIW.
M39 3 9 Pistol FB Offset twins 4-3 over Run N/A Lead option Gordon -5
Gordon(+1, tackling +1) again charging off the edge, first darting, then exploding outside to hit and tackle Mark basically on the catch of the pitch. Normally bigger positives here but again the situation makes this an obvious call.
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-31, 30 sec 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-3 even slide Pass 4 Scramble Campbell 7
Mark motions out. Campbell(+2, pressure +2) shocks everyone by just swimming past a guard and getting instant pressure; Washington(-1) got out of his lane and this allows Colter to run past Campbell and hit the second level. Ryan(+0.5, tackling +1) makes a nice open field tackle. Another tip of the cap kind of play.
M18 2 3 Pistol FB offset 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Inside zone Campbell 2
Roh(+0.5) prevents a cutback and gets the force. Washington(+1) takes a block and closes off the hole inside. Campbell(+2) is in that same gap temporarily, which looks bad, but he is in control of that block and pops to the other side of the G as Mark shifts to that gap, tackling for a minimal gain. Picture paged.
M16 3 1 Pistol FB offset 3TE 4-3 over Pass 5 Scramble Demens -1
Ross(+1) is blitzing; he bowls over the OL trying to deal with him and gets into Mark quick, which helps Demens(+2) make his decision more quickly and forces Colter to scramble directly into him. The tackle(+1) is authoritative. Washington(+0.5) had submarined another OL, giving Demens an easy lane to attack. Picture paged.
M15 4 2 Shotgun 2-back trips 3-3-5 nickel Run N/A FB dive Demens 0
NW checks into this! Black(+1) surges playside past the center, threatening to force a pitch himself; Colter hands. Michigan is three on two on the backside and Demens(+1, tackling +1) leaves no doubt. RPS +3. Picture paged.
Drive Notes: EOG, 38-31.



/plays In The Big House


/plays Build Me Up Buttercup

(?°?°)?? ???)



All right. I would just like you to know that I never stopped believing.

Is that a Journey reference?

What is this Journey you are talking about? Is it on the Big Ten Network?

Michigan's defense finally got gashed a bit in this one. If you chalk the Air Force game up to crazy flexbone business putting Jordan Kovacs in an untenable position—and I do—this is the first time since the Alabama game that an opponent has done more than get a couple big plays. Michigan gave up 248 rushing yards, including 104 to Venric Mark, and allowed Northwestern to complete two-thirds of its passes for nearly 10 YPA.

It warn't good. To discover why we must consider—


I hate you so much. Chart.

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Roh 6 2.5 3.5 Nobody is letting him shoot their gap on power anymore.
Campbell 12 - 12 Straight up dominated NW's Gs. They could not deal with him one on one.
Washington 7.5 4.5 3 Got out of some gaps, did okay overall.
Black 7 2 5 NW's Gs are not good.
Clark 3 - 3 Not impactful but more responsible than in the past.
Beyer 4.5 3 1.5 Favored WDE option at the moment.
Pipkins 3 3 0 Impressive tackle; probably blew an assignment.
Heitzman 1 2 -1 Not splitting the pitch like Ryan did.
Ojemudia - - - DNP
Ash - - - DNP
Brink - - - DNP
TOTAL 44 17 27 Caveat: pressure was negative this week.
Player + - T Notes
Morgan 4 9.5 -5.5 Rough outing with blown assignments; Ross out there on critical last two drives speaks for itself.
Demens 9 3 6 Ramped it up late.
Ryan 8.5 4 4.5 A bit of a quiet day, only 4 tackles, no TFLs.
C. Gordon 3.5 4 -0.5 Edged some.
Ross 8 3 5 Instincts are truly impressive.
Bolden - 2 -2 Didn't earn the PT Ross got in this game.
Hawthorne - - - DNP
TOTAL 33 25.5 7.5 May have been too kind.
Player + - T Notes
Floyd 4.5 3.5 1 Made their attempt to burn him have to be perfect.
Avery 1 1 0 Eh.
Taylor 2.5 2 0.5 NFW anyone can stop that TD.
Kovacs 9 2 7 Two great PBUs, some tackling.
T. Gordon 7 3 4 Should have been in man on the TE on the TD.
M. Robinson - - - DNP
Wilson - - - DNP
TOTAL 24 11.5 12.5 I ain't even mad about the completions, more later.
Pressure 14 15 -1 Too many rush lanes.
Coverage 20 16 4 NFL windows hit: like four.
Tackling 16 9 64% This is bad, and yards-providing.
RPS 10 14 -4 Not going too well before last play.

The numbers don't actually fall off much with individuals, partially because of the number of plays run. Northwestern had a fairly hefty 79, and there is quite a bit of damage in the metrics. Northwestern ran for 4.8 YPC, sacks removed, which is not where Michigan wants to be but also not absolutely horrendous.

Frankly, though, I don't think I did a great job charting this one. The damaging Colter scrambles were not accounted for properly and I probably should have been harsher on some of the long option runs. I'm going to go back to the drawing board after the season and try to distinguish between what a +1 and  a +2 is, what a –1 and a –2 is; right now it's just in my head and I should put it down so that there's more rigor in here. This game exposed some holes in my methodology. I need to figure out what the difference between a six yard run that sets up third and five and an eighteen yard scramble and apply that to Ryan when he loses contain on Colter. Is that –2 or –3? I need to hammer the pressure metric when QBs get effective scrambles off. I may have to re-scale stuff.

That said, I ain't even mad about some of these things. The unstoppable Trevor Siemian is the greatest quarterback of all time, just like Nick Stauskas is the greatest shooter of all time. I mean, what can you do about this?

announcer freaking out about throw before it's even caught

Watch it, and golf clap sourly afterwards.

I mean, WTF you average under six yards an attempt dude.

That ain't raight.

Northwestern also got a couple of critical conversions on RPS plays where Michigan's tendency to use their slot to carry receivers vertical opened up holes in the zone:

That's not on Demens, who has to cover that circle route or it's still a first down; it's just a hole in Michigan's preferred coverage here. Add in the crazy third and long corner completion on Northwestern's first drive and that's a lot of QBs pulling Wildcat ass out of the fire. It happens sometimes.

So Morgan got a bad score and pulled in favor of Ross. What happened to awesome linebacking forever?

I probably shouldn't have said anything; as soon as you get all hype about a guy he goes and has his worst outing of the year. Colter got the edge on him some. He violated one of MGoBlog's Cardinal Heuristic Things That May Not Even Be A Thing by going upfield of a block on a third and long option conversion that was mostly RPS but got another eight to ten yards tacked on because Morgan made himself irrelevant. He did not funnel to help on a long Mark run that otherwise would have been a Campbell tackle near the LOS.

Remember how we talked about Demens attacking Colter as soon as he saw Venric Mark go for a cut block? On a critical third and twelve conversion, Morgan had that same assignment and attacked the QB despite the RB releasing:

The down and distance makes that especially galling. If you just play it cool the chances a scramble turns into 12 yards are not good.

He got slashed to the ground on the option, helping turn eight yards into 30:

Northwestern came back to this exact thing with Ross in the game a bit later, and the difference was palpable:

Beyer also does a better job there so Ross's presence is not strictly necessary—it is still greatly appreciated.

The next time they ran option playside to Ross the guy trying to block him had no shot to reach him because he was just gone at the snap:

I mean, that's Venric Mark. Yow.

I can't help but think that Ross's tendency to just go will catch up with him at some point where he's a starter people gameplan for but so far so good. It'll be hard to keep him off the field next year. Hard to keep him off this year.

When Morgan made a good initial read on That Goddamned Counter Draw, he hesitated and then could not make a tackle, and I thought "can't see Ross doing that" small sample sizes and all, sure.

How do we stop the option?

I'm not sure. Michigan showed some examples of it. First play:

They block the end; Roh strings it out. Demens is clean, pitch forced. Ryan beats a cut block to the outside and that is two for one and a nice tackle.

This one didn't go so well:

Okay, so the linebackers are not slid over so far, and Heitzman goes inside of the tackle to force the pitch. Ryan gets held but I still ding him because he should not let the guy outside in any case; Gordon gets double-teamed and run over. What's the problem there?

I think it goes back to the end going right for the QB. Making that decision easy and driving the play away from your LBs is not the right move when you're also letting two blockers go outside. The way I think about these things is: "given the starting positions of the people on the field, does this play make it easy or hard for Michigan to stop the opponent?" Heitzman getting flanked means linebackers have to reach the outside on an option pitch. Possible, sure. Hard, yes.

Later Ryan would cut down an option by himself by forcing a cut up and tackling:

That's more of what you'd hope to see; his D should be able to handle that cut, while the outside is screwed. Beyer would adapt; on this later TFL he would shuffle down the line, preventing a cut while delaying the pitch and allowing Kovacs time to burst upfield and do his thing.

If you notice that Craig Roh is not involved on any of these except the first one, well  yeah. It looked like Northwestern's option game plan was to find Roh and run the other way.

Kovacs is relevant again?

He tends to be against option teams. Also he turned in two fine examples of NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE BALL coverage where the only way for Northwestern to catch the ball would be to go Prothro on the ball.

He did have a boo, boo, though. But let's talk about…


He is! I mean, remember we're talking about Trevor Siemian, unstoppable quarterback of death here, and here are two stills from the touchdown to get your mind right:


Find the safeties. Gordon is on the left hash on the goal line. Kovacs is five yards outside the right hash two yards upfield, because when Mark motioned out of the backfield Michigan tried to switch a cornerback out there to avoid a Kovacs/Mark matchup not projected to go well and he didn't get anywhere near two-deep safety position on the snap, which screwed up his drop.

And here's the catch:


That is a tiny window hit by unstoppable throw-god Trevor Siemian!

Here is the thing itself:

Window may be a little less tiny than it appears above but CUMONG MAN

I mean, that guy entered the day as Northwestern's top receiver, and a 260 pound middle linebacker pretty much stayed with him. GTFO with your Demens coverage criticisms.

Campbell beast mode?

Ah yup. NW could not move him all day and he successfully two-gapped holes when Northwestern went for the linebackers. NW got almost nothing between the tackles, and for a change it was Campbell leading the way with Washington playing sidekick. I don't really have any videos of this, oddly, except for the picture-paged play to end the game. It kind of snuck up on me.

Given what we've seen from Campbell so far my assumption is this was a combination of two things: Northwestern not maintaining doubles long and trying to get to the second level and the Northwestern guards not being any good. Note that Black also had a good day. That three tech one one one matchup with a guard went very well for M no matter who was in. I assume he'll come back to earth shortly. Still, nice game.


Campbell, Kovacs, and to a somewhat lesser extent Demens and Ryan.


Morgan had a rough, rough day. Whoever gave Trevor Siemian the invincibility star should be found and told not to do that again.

What does it mean for Iowa and the future?

Hope you like tackling, cornerbacks, because you've got a heaping helping of hitches on the way. Also Michigan will destroy Iowa's offense.

As for the future bits, James Ross seems to be solidifying a hold on a starting job in 2013; the bet here remains he plays WLB and Morgan moves to MLB, where he'll be pressed by Bolden (and probably win that, one bad game doesn't offset a pretty good sophomore year). The line continues to improve but the younger ends got a trial by fire when it came to dealing with the option.



November 14th, 2012 at 4:15 PM ^

Do you think playing Air Force early and now Northwestern will help shore up some issues that could help Michigan win at the shoe? (Base offense/ obviously not all the stuff they've been drawing up for this game all year)


November 14th, 2012 at 4:39 PM ^


Blake Countess

Raymon Taylor


Thomas Gordon (SS)

Jarrod Wilson (FS)


Quinton Washington (NT)

Jibreel Black (3-tech)

Frank Clark (WDE)

Chris Wormley (SDE)


Jake Ryan (SLB)

Desmond Morgan (MIKE)

James Ross (WILL)

3 tech is a position that I'm not too sure about.  I have heard that Wormley might grow into 3 tech, but I put Wormley at SDE because his build is identical to Roh right now.  I guess it all depends on his rehad progress after the injury.

EDIT:  Apparently my 2013 defense didn't have safeties.


November 14th, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

I'll go with a double long shot by penciling McQuay as a starting CB over Taylor. Long shot to sign him and long shot to start a frosh on day 1, but I foresee him grabbing the Woodson legacy and locking down one side with his superior ball skills.

Agree on Ross starting, but he'll snag the MLB role after adding 15 lbs in the off-season. Lots of great MLBs are 6'1" or shorter and Ross fills the alleys instinctively.


November 14th, 2012 at 5:50 PM ^

Dymonte is potentially the most talented recruit with combo of size, speed and athleticism perfect for SS so I expect him and Wilson to man the Middle. Frosh should never start at S but Dymonte will get on the field regularly and Gordon can shift as Wilson and Dymonte enter/exit.

JT is playing CB like a safety - 10 yards off the line, selectively force the POA vs the run, and jump routes on the first move after 10 yards. McQuay can adapt quickly to this style with even more athleticism and ball skills. Don't forget, Woodson was a RB who self-decided to play DB and shocked everyone with his competitivism, range and ball skills on the first day so the coaches decided CB was the best way to get him on the field.

Just a hunch that Mattison will see his CB value on day 1 and McQuay will go the same path wearing #2 ...

Blue in Seattle

November 14th, 2012 at 7:14 PM ^

Not sure if that was what you meant.  When he was being recruited Woodson told the coaches he wanted to play cornerback.  Even when Lloyd was making him practice on offense, any time they would ask Woodson to play as the RB, Woodson would come up with an excuse like, "my leg is feeling a little sore".  He knew from high school that RB's get pounded on, and didn't want that at the next level and beyond.

I don't think anyone was shocked that "Mr Ohio" was one of the most athletic players on the team.  I think Mattison was just expecting Woodson wanted to be a WR when they were recruiting him, but you can go check out the Big Ten Icons video for the correct statement.


November 14th, 2012 at 6:28 PM ^

Beyer still has lots of weight to gain if he is going to move over to the SDE.  I say that based on what the SDE has looked like in the two seasons under Hoke.

Ryan Van Bergen 6-6 288

Craig Roh 6-5 281


Brennen Beyer 6-3 252

Tom Strobel 6-6 252

Matt Godin 6-6 277

Chris Wormley 6-4 279


These weights could have changed by now, but just based on size I think Godin is more of a candidate to play SDE over Beyer.


November 14th, 2012 at 6:08 PM ^

Mallory a chance to coach them up on the sideline while Gordon leads them on the field.

Besides, Gordon isn't a pure FS like Ed Reed in Mattison's past who can ball-hawk a huge area to turn the SS lose in the box. Gordon and the other 2 can even disguise the FS/SS roles before the snap.

Oh, the fun of actually having depth and talent to create schemes.


November 14th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

I think MRob is a starter. Whether they keep him at SS or flip him and Gordon or who even knows if it matters, I think he's a starter. The fact that Wilson has been seeing time this year and MRob hasn't is more a testament to Gordon's limited athleticism and why would you take Kovacs off the field than anything else.

Also think people are playing Wormley a bit too heavily. Heitzman has experience, a leg up. Wormley's coming off an ACL tear. Could he be good down the line? Oh yeah. But next year? Nothing besides recruiting hype suggests that's the case. At this point, I think we'd even see Strobel/Godin in the starting lineup before Wormley. 

Also think there's a chance UM coaches just do whatever they can to get Pipkins and Washington both on the field, regardless of which one plays the NT. 


November 14th, 2012 at 4:28 PM ^

But this sentence made my brain work way too hard:

I can't help but think that Ross's tendency to just go will catch up with him at some point where he's a starter people gameplan for but so far so good.

For about half a second, my brain wanted starter to modify people... but then gameplan didn't make any sense...


November 14th, 2012 at 4:39 PM ^

I stopped counting after 15 or so the number of missed tackles when our defenders were a 1/2 step late. Colter is fast, but Braxton is nearly as fast and much stronger which could give our D a long day in the shoe.

More broadly, the lack of team speed is the sole factor hindering the D from truly dominating. The boys play hard, tackle well, hold the point of attack and fulfill assignments to achieve top ten status - but we need a few recruits with just a tad more speed to reach elite level.

Regardless, this group deserves our respect for their effort and balling attitude.


November 14th, 2012 at 5:05 PM ^

Mattison has to love James Ross' speed at which he commits to holes.  LB speed and decisiveness is the key to TFLs and forcing teams to abandon the run.  Go ask Alabama about that.


November 14th, 2012 at 5:47 PM ^

I remember that during the game I had more confidence with Michigan stopping a 3rd or 4th and 2 than a 3rd and 13.  That seemed to happen a lot last year too.  Mgoquestion please?


November 14th, 2012 at 9:14 PM ^

The Wildcats seem to find and then replace good QBs effortlessly. It's obviously the system, which is also flexible enough to work with a run-first guy, a decent downfield passer, or a guy who can throw those damn 2-yard out patterns all day. I really respect what Fitzgerald and his offensive staff has managed to do at Northwestern even while the spread has moved from novelty to commonplace in the conference. It may be Communist football, but it's effective stuff.


November 15th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

The scheme has been effective for a lot longer than Fitz has been in charge and has had many different coaches run it. Obviously this group led by Fitz gets lots of credit for continuing it and making lots of adjustments. Randy Walker bought in to the spread in the late 90's and since that 54-51 game against M in 2000, NU has probably had 4 off coordinators at least and all have had success running "the spread" and adapting it to the Kustok/Basanez types w/ big backs like Noah Herron, to the CJ Bacher types with mighty Tyrell Sutton to the current Colter/Mark group.


November 19th, 2012 at 6:29 PM ^

You're right of course about Walker's use of the spread and its incredible impact on the game, most iconically through the ripples of that 2000 win. The key to lasting impact though is continued modification, both to suit changing personnel and to keep opponents guessing. Fitzgerald has clearly managed to do that. I didn't know there'd been as much turnover at OC, though it makes sense - they are surely in demand.


November 14th, 2012 at 8:24 PM ^

... it looks like time and again he managed to scramble to daylight.  Not sure whether that's a pressure metric or an RPS thing, though - obviously the ideal pressure smashes the pocket without creating running lanes, but you don't care about a guy scrambling for 2 on 3rd and 8, so getting on him quick and making him abandon the pass for a run that your short zone LBs will track down is a good thing.

Perhaps Magnus or another experienced party (the former Space Coyote From Space?) would care to comment?


November 14th, 2012 at 8:29 PM ^

While this defensive performance leaves me concerned about Ohio and their spread offense, we need to keep reminding ourselves that NW's offense is pretty good.  Braxton Miller is bigger than Colter and their backs have more power, but I'd prefer that than the speed and elusiveness of Colter and Mark.


Ron Utah

November 14th, 2012 at 11:11 PM ^

While I definitely agree that we are a defense better built to deal with power than speed, Ohio seems to have both.  They aren't as shifty as NW, but man, those guys are pretty much horses trapped in the bodies of men.

While NW has a great scheme and some very, very good players, I think Ohio's offense is a notch above.  They will (and should) be favored by a TD, is my guess.

That will be our toughest game of the season, IMO (not counting the ridiculous thing that happened  at Jerry's world).  ND allowed us to beat ourselves, and Nebraska - Deanrd + Bellomy - Gardner = STUPID.

Ohio will be a great test for our team and our staff; a win would say a lot about our players tenacity and our staff's ability to prepare and coach.  There is a SIGNIFICANT talent gap, and not in a good way.  Remember, they only had to endure one half off-season without a blue chip head coach, and we had years of recruiting that either wasn't good or doesn't fit what we're trying to do or didn't include defense or O-line or etc, etc, etc


November 14th, 2012 at 11:09 PM ^

Dinging Ryan for that blown containment? ouch!

I think Ryan thought he had him contained (the back looked like he was going to turn it inside) and when he bounced it he was being held pretty badly.  I agree he could have had better leverage on the outside shoulder.

I think Ryan needs to learn how to take a fall in this scenario more than how to hold contain.

Spot on with Heitzman though, had he played the outside shoulder of that tackle, that play would have been less successful.


November 15th, 2012 at 5:43 AM ^

If Heitzman goes outside the tackle, Colter keeps, cuts up, and gains at least a few yards.

Dinging Ryan for getting held is kind of silly.  That's like dinging a wide receiver for not catching the ball when the defensive back interferes with him.

Mr. Yost

November 15th, 2012 at 8:52 AM ^

Just like our basketball team --- their biggest strength as a unit is versatility.

Our basketball team is figuring it out...I hope Hoke and Mattison do the same moving forward. Particularly next year and the year after.

If we're playing a speed or spread team. Ross HAS to be your WLB. No question. Morgan can slide over to MLB (next year).

'13 vs. Speed/Spread
WLB - Ross
MLB - Morgan/Bolden
SLB - Ryan
       - *Cam Gordon if he returns for his RS Sr. season could be your SLB on "and long" situations with Ryan playing WDE*


'13 vs. Power/Traditional
WLB - Morgan
MLB - Bolden
SLB - Ryan